Category Archives: 90mm M3

Sherman Tank Site, News Post 9: DATA, DATA everywhere!

News Post 9: New Years News

I decided I needed more hard numbers, the kind of data that makes non tank nerds eyes roll up in their heads, stuff like how many spare periscopes were issued with an early war M4A1! One of the best way to do this is through tank Data sheets, as found in the back of many books on tanks. I used Hunnicutt’s Sherman book for some, but others I’ve made using the Hunnicutt ones as a template and then using data from the Technical Manual for the tank.

We had four, now have spec sheets for 15 different models of Sherman, and 3 Lees! You can find them all on this page. Shermom Model specification sheets. 

90mm GMC M36B1 Spec Sheet PDF

That’s not all though, I decided the gun Data sheets in Hunnicut were really interesting, so I started replicating those, but with an improved format, and slightly more data.  These gun Data Sheets can be found here, Main Guns: THings that go  BOOM!  All the guns the Sherman tank used are covered, and more are coming.

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In the works are Data Sheets for each Sherman tank motor, and several experimental models. These Data sheets will have much more detailed info on the motor, and will include interesting images from the manuals for the motors.

Also in the works as dedicated pages for these data sheets, the beta test of the gun version is up and can be found here.  Next up will be ones for each tank model and then motor.

Also note the latest post on the Ram tank, The Ram: The Shermans awkward Canadian Cousin. This post covers the Canadian and British attempt to come up with a better Sherman before the Sherman design and prototype was done. I’ve been sent some very interesting documents, some are included in the post.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Sherman information!

 

#64 Sherman Fire Control: How the Gun Was Aimed, not Putting Out Fires!

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Sherman Fire Control: How the Sherman aimed its Main Gun.

The Sherman tank went through a series of fire control changes each an improvement over the last.  The first tanks lacked telescopic sight mounted on the gun mount. The only site was incorporated into the gunner’s periscope, and it wasn’t magnified. Since the periscopes were all interchangeable, updating the older tanks was easy at least were the periscope was concerned.

The final fire control setup the Sherman gunner had at his disposal was pretty impressive by the standards of the time. He was in a hydroelectrically driven turret that rotated fast; he had very nice periscope setup with 1x and 6x scopes hooked into the gun with strong linkage.  He also had a telescopic sight to work with and the gun was stabilized.  This was a vast improvement over the unmagnified reticle on the first production models.

The Lee used a unique setup; the 75mm gun was aimed with an M1 periscope, with an M21A1 periscope built into it. The 37mm was aimed with an M2 periscope with an M19A1 periscope built in. Both the 37 and 75 mounts were stabilized. The prototype M6 Sherman used its own unique sight built into the sight rotor on the top of the turret, this was only used on a small number of production Shermans tanks.

Let’s look at the various periscopes and telescopes the Sherman used through its long life.  Let’s start with a look at the various versions of the periscope sights the production Sherman and the TDs based on the chassis below.

 

The M3 Periscope Sight

Since I just have a little info on this from TM 9-731B on the early M4A2, don’t have much to put here. Maybe this periscope is the one I’ve read about getting foggy on the inside in cold or humid locales. It was quickly replaced with the M4 detailed below.  This was one of the non-magnified periscopes.

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The M4 Periscope sight

The Periscope M4; it had an M38 telescope with ballistic reticle inside, but no magnification. The M4 was not well liked, and the mount it fit in, was made from sheet metal and was a little flimsy.  The linkage that attacked it to the gun wasn’t very robust, and could be knocked out of alignment annoyingly easily.  On early Shermans this was a big complaint, since they did not have a direct telescope yet. You couldn’t really take advantage of the M3 75mm guns range with this sight setup either since it had no magnification. The later better periscopes like the M4, M4A1 and M8 series would all fit in the old mount though.

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The M4A1 Periscope Sight

Next came an improved version of the M4, the M4A1, and they came with an M38A2 telescope, this one was magnified, but not much at 1.44x, and a 9 degree field of view. Later versions of this periscope had illuminated reticles. The mount was not improved though nor was the linkage.  The M4A1 periscope was changed when the 105mm and 76mm armed Shermans came online, when used with these guns, they had the M47A2 for the 76 tanks, and M77C for the 105 tanks. Hunnicutt doesn’t specify if these were also 1.44X. This periscope was found on M4A1, A2, and A3 76 tanks during WWII.

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The M8/M8A1 Periscope Sight

The M4A1 periscopes were replaced by the M8 and M8A1 periscopes. They were a lager tougher improvement on the M4 series, and had the M39A2 telescopic reticle for use with the 76mm gun, since it had the same reticle as the M47A2 used in the M4A1 periscope.  The M39A2 had 1.8x magnification, and a 6 degree FOV.  Even though at this point this was no longer the primary sight, the Army kept improving it. But the mount and linkage still remained an issue.

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The M10 Periscope Sight

The Army came up with another new periscope sight system called the M10. They started issuing it late in the war around the same time wet tanks start appearing. This was a much improved periscope; it incorporated two telescopes with reticles, one 1.x, with a field of view of 42 degrees, ten minutes for engaging close targets. The second periscope had a 6x telescope with an 11 degree 20 minute field of view. This periscope could be used with the 76, 75, and 105mm guns when the right reticle was fitted. There was also an M16 periscope, pretty much the same as the m10, but with a reticle adjusting system.

M10C was specific to 75mm Shermans.

M10D was used on 76mm tanks, and 105 tanks.
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The Periscope mount

for these periscopes were improved greatly when the 76mm gun and 105 tanks arrived, and the mount was made from a beefy casting, and all the linkage was made much stronger will ball bearing in all the pivot points. These would have shown up on M4A1 75w, M4A3 75w, M4A3 105, M4 105, and M4A3 76w, M4A2 76w and M4A1 76w tanks.

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You can see the old style periscope mount in this shot.

This improved mount was also incorporated into most of the post war rebuild and overhauls. It is very easy to spot, by the heavy cast iron hood over the periscope hole.

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In this shot you can see the improved heavy duty gunners periscope mount, spikes optional.

The Telescopic sights.

The Shermans fire control system was improved further by the incorporation of a direct telescope mount to the M38A1 gun mount. This prompted the creation of the full length gun mantlet to protect the scope. When these were retrofitted into older tanks, sometimes they would weld on armor over the scope, leaving a half armored mantlet.

The later 76mm armed tanks had the M62 mount, and it had a telescopic sight mount from the start.

The direct scopes went through their own evolution, and this information is put together from the various TMs on the tanks and Hunnicutt’s Sherman, and is not complete. I will update this section as I get more info on the topic.

The M55 Telescope: The first! For the 75mm and 105

This telescope had 3x magnifications with 12 degree 19 minute FOV. This sight was also used on the early production 105 tanks and most 75mm Shermans.

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The M51: Also the First, but for the 76 M1A1

The same scope as above, with the same specs, but with the reticle for the 76mm guns, and that’s all. There were complaints about the optical quality on these scopes, since the clarity wasn’t optimal.

M70 Telescopic Sight

The M50 sights were replaced with the M70 Series sights, the same size and magnification. What set them apart was there superior optical quality. The Army went on to develop many different versions of this sight. It was a 3X scope with a 12 degree 19 minute FOV.

M70F Telescopic Sight

This was version used on M4A3 75W Shermans.

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M70G Telescopic Sight

This sight was used on M10 GMC tank destroyers.

M70P Telescopic Sight

This sight was used on some M36 CMCs tank destroyers.

M71D Telescopic Sight

This was a 5x with a 13 degree FOV version of the scope. It had the reticle for the 76mm guns and was used on those tanks. This was the sight commonly found on M4A1 and M4A2 76 tanks.

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M71G Telescopic Sight

This version of the M71 was issued with the Jumbo tanks.

M72D Telescopic Sight

This was used on the 105mm armed Shermans.

M76F/D Telescopic Sight

These telescopes were used on the M36 GMC tank destroyers.

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M76G Telescopic Sight

This scope only had a 3x magnification, with a 21 degree, 30 minutes FOV, and was used in 105 tank applications later in the war.

M83 Veritable Power Telescopic Sight.

This scope had two settings, 4x 7 degrees, 40 minutes and 8x 4 degrees, 15 minutes, and M83D version of this sight worked with the 76mm guns when in an M62 mount. I have not seen this one mentioned anywhere but Hunnicutt’s Sherman book. That doesn’t mean it didn’t get issued as a replacent later in the war, since I’m going off TM’s and spec sheets and those are a small snapshot into a tanks actual combat gear.

. . .

 

Indirect Fire Control Gear

You would think that would be it for fire control equipment, but it’s not, because all Shermans came equipped with the equipment for their tanks to work as impromptu artillery batteries all Sherman based TDs had this gear as well. The US Army had this extra gear installed all the way up to the M60 tanks. During the war, some tank and TD battalions were very good at being artillery; other units didn’t train for it, and were not good.  This was a good way of keeping tanks useful in Italy, and they filled this role a lot there. I do not think this was something many other nations did with their tanks.

Azimuth Indicator M19

The Azimuth Indicator was mounted near the gunner, right behind the traverse control. This device was used to dial in what direction the gun needed to be pointed in to carry out the fire mission.

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Gunners Quadrant M1

The Gunners quadrant is a portable precision instrument used for measuring the elevation or depression angles of guns and howitzers. It can also be used for checking the adjusting of elevation devices on sighting equipment furnished with a gun or howitzer. This was taken right from the Characteristics in tech manual 9-1527.

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Elevation Quadrant M9

The Elevation Quadrant M9 was used to lay the tanks main gun in elevation for indirect fire. There are detailed instructions for setting it up in TM 9-748.

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A Sherman unit trained in how to act as an artillery battery would probably be told they were on call when not in direct combat but close enough for the 75s to reach. They would have men manning radios in the tanks while other tasks were being done, like maintenance, personal things and eating. When they got the call, the designated battery commander for each platoon would listen to the directions on the arty net or get in direct contact with the spotter. In many cases they would wired into the directly, so they wouldn’t need to worry about radio reception. They would relay the aiming information out the tanks on the radio or phone net and then they would start firing.

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M4 being used as artillery

Once they started firing the hole crew would help feed the gun, and if they were doing it as a common thing they might even have large amounts of ammo unboxed outside the tank, where the driver and co-driver could feed them to the commander who then fed  them to the loader.  The M3 75mm gun worked well in this role, since the barrel had a life in excess of 4000 rounds.

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M4 105 acting as artillery.

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Sources: Sherman by R.P. Hunnicutt, TM9-731b, TM9-731G, TM9-748, TM9-748, TM9-750, TM9-752, TM9-754, TM9-759

#14 Main Guns: Things That Go Boom, Some Bigger than Others, but None Bad

Main Guns: The Sherman Mounted Six Different Guns, But Not On All Versions, NOW WITH GUN DATA SHEETS!

The Sherman tank and its chassis was host to a variety of guns.  Most had the M3 75mm gun, or the M1A1 76mm gun, but many were also equipped with the British 17 pounder, the M3 90mm, 3 inch AT gun and the M2/M4 105mm howitzer.  I will cover each below.

The M3 75mm gun: When it first saw Combat, it was a Great Tank Gun

The M3 75mm gun was a great tank gun for the time the Sherman was first introduced to combat, and was based on a well-liked WWI French field gun. When it first saw combat it could punch through any German tank it faced, from just about any angle. It’s a myth the Sherman was designed to only support infantry, though it’s primary role was not anti-armor, it was still designed to face other tanks.  The gun worked well in the infantry support role as well, with an effective HE and WP smoke round, and a canister round. This gun had a very high rate of fire in the Sherman (20rpm) and was mated with a basic stabilization system. This system did not allow shooting on the move accurately, but did allow the sights and gun to be put on the target faster when the tank came to a stop to shoot. No world war two tanks could shoot on the move with a real chance to hit even a stationary tank sized target. With a twenty round a minute rate of fire, the Sherman could pump out a lot of HE in support of the infantry, and it was not unheard of for the tanks to be used as artillery. The Sherman tank was equipped with all the gear to act as artillery if needed and was a regular occurrence in the MTO, less so in the ETO.

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M4A2 75

Sherman tanks with the 75mm gun carried between 104 and 97 rounds of main gun ammo. Only 10 to 15% of this ammo was AP, that’s how rare other armor was, HE would make up the majority of the rest of the load, with maybe another 10 to 15% being WP smoke, since this was also a somewhat destructive shell, because it caused fires and WP when it landed on a person was hard to put out. There was also a canister shell, but I think it was only used in the PTO.  The rate of fire on the gun is a little misleading, since depending on the Sherman, you would have between 6 and 12 ready rounds, more on the very early Shermans with ready rounds around the base of the turret basket.  Once the ready rounds were fired, and often, the ready rounds are kept in reserve anyway, to deal with unexpected threats.  Wet Shermans had an armored 6 round ready box mounted in the turret, the rest of the ammo was in armored boxes under the floor. Most wet tanks had a half turret basket or none at all. This was a problem common on pretty much all tanks.

m4a3 75 m70f reticle

The M3 75mm gun was so well liked, the British essentially ended up converting many of the QF 6 pounders to fire the same round, fired with basically the same ballistics, with the advantage of not needing to modify the current tanks mount.  The WF 6 pounder was a better AT gun, but, it’s HE round was not very good. The M48 HE round used by the m3 75mm had 1.5 pounds of TNT inside, and since the Sherman could fire them fast, and the shell was fairly handy, it’s easy to see why the gun was good at infantry support.  It really only lacked the ability to pen the frontal armor of the German Tiger and Panther, but those tanks were rare enough, or easy enough to get side shots on, the 75 did the job, and did it the whole war, since the 76mm armed Shermans never totaled more than 53% of the Sherman force in Europe. The M3 75mm gets a lot of flak thrown at it by ignorant people who think it was a low velocity gun that could not penetrate armor. These people must be confusing it with the German KwK 37 L/24 75mm gun that armed the first versions of the Panzer IV.

 

75mm M3 spec booklet MK VI Download. 

 

The M1/M1A1/M1A2 76mm gun: Made by Oldsmobile, It was Not a Great Gun, but Did the Job

The M1 series of 76 mm guns went into production before the US Army had any idea of German heavy tanks, or the Panther. They were just looking ahead, to keep the Sherman as good a combat weapon as possible, and to stay ahead in the arms race.  They had the 3 inch AT gun on hand, and had used it in the M6 and M10, but it was really to bulky to work in a medium tank turret.  The Army decided to design a gun with the same ballistics, but in a much lighter, and less bulky package, in doing so the M1 gun was born.  The gun overhung the front of the Sherman a lot so the Army decided to shorten it over a foot. It still seemed to match the ballistics of the 3 inch AT gun though; guns with the shorter barrel were designated M1A1 guns.  The first three hundred of so guns produced by Oldsmobile lacked muzzle brakes or the threads to install them. Gun’s produced after that had the threads and a protective cap over them so a brake could be installed later. The final variant of the gun was the M1A2, installed in late production 76mm Shermans, this gun always had the muzzle brake, but had a slightly different barrel, with a minor change to the rifling twist.

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M4A1 76W with unthreaded M1A1 gun

Much of the later large hatch hull tanks were produced with a larger turret to accommodate the M1 family of 76mm guns. This turret came on M4A1s, M4A2s and M4A3 tanks.  The M1A1 on the early tanks, like the M4A1 76 w tanks used in Operation Cobra, came without muzzle brakes. When firing during dusty -conditions the view of the target would be obscured by dust stirred up from the guns blast, the fix for this was for the commander or another crewman to stand away from the tank and talk to the crew over the intercom, via a long wire, and correct the shots onto target. Not a great fix…The final fix was muzzle brakes; it took a little while for supply to catch up with demand but they were showing up on Shermans in Europe by late 44, and by March they seemed to be in stock, and showing up on tanks that had the protective cap before.

Another problem was the gun was not a huge improvement over the M3 75mm as a tank killer, and was not as good as an HE thrower. As mentioned before, several tank divisions didn’t want the improved Shermans at first. The penetration problem would be partially solved with HVAP ammunition, but by the time it was common, German tanks to use it on were not.   Post war, ammunition would be further improved and there would be no shortage of HVAP ammo in Korea, so the US Army would soldier on with the gun, in its final improved form, the M1A2.

The M1 series of guns were also stabilized when installed in the Sherman, but it was the same system used with the 75mm gun, offering limited advantages. The Nazi Germans never fielded a stabilization system of any kind on their tanks. Tanks with the M1, and M1A1 guns carried 71 main gun rounds in wet storage racks in the floor, with an armored 6 round ready rack on the turret floor.

M1-M1A1-M1A2 guns 76.2mm Sherman Tank Gun PDF file.

The M3 90mm Gun: The Most Powerful AT Gun the US used During the War.

The US M3 90mm tank gun started out life as an AA gun, a very good AA gun, unlike the very overrated Flak 18/36/37.  As the AA gun was developed, it’s mount gained the ability to be used against ground targets, with up to -10 degrees depression.  The ballistic performance on the gun was good, but what really made the AA gun shine was the AA gun system that incorporated Radar, and proximity fuses, sci-fi tech to the Germans, but pretty typical American technology for the time, it was the best land based AA gun system of the war.  Contrary to some claims, it was pretty rare for US 90mm AA guns to be used in the direct fire role. The US Army was rarely desperate enough to have to resort to such tactics.

American soldiers of Patton's Third Army standing in front of their M36 TD while rolling up a Nazi flag they have taken as a trophy after the capture of Bitberg.
M36 with M3 90mm

When the US Army started looking into a bigger AT gun than the 3 inch, the M1/M2 90mm AA gun was a natural choice.  The tank mounted weapon would be designated the M3, and with a barrel threaded for a muzzle brake, the M3A1. When tested against the British 17 pounder gun, the M3 had slightly inferior performance, but was more accurate. The US Army preferred the 90mm over the 17 pounder for various reasons, the biggest being it didn’t have scary flashback out of the breach on firing, making it seem like a somewhat shoddy design. The 90mm M3 would soldier on the in the M26/46 tanks,  but would be replaced by improved 90mm guns on the M47 and M48.

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As a dual purpose tank gun, the M3 90mm was good. It’s rounds were not to big for one man to handle. It had good AT performance, and a more potent HE round than the M3 75mm gun. When installed on the M36 Tank Destroyer, it was able to deal with the rare heavily armored German threat, if the regular Shermans hadn’t already killed it by the time the M36 got there. Since the gun was not overly hot, it didn’t wear barrels out fast, so it could still be used in artillery role.  

M3 90mm gun data on PDF

The 3 Inch AT gun: An Old AA Gun Finds a New Use

The 3inch AT gun started out life as a AA gun. It was still being used as one for the first half of the war.  It was a natural choice as an AT gun since it was being replaced by the M1/2/3 90mm AA gun system. The gun was large, heavy and bulky, and the M10 tank destroyers turret had to be rather large to fit it.  They were also able to fit it in the T1/M6 Heavy tank, but it was clear it needed a redesign to fit in a smaller turret like the regular Sherman. This ultimately lead to the M1A1 gun discussed above.

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M10 with three inch gun

There was also a towed AT gun version of this weapon, it was generally not well liked. It was too big to move around easily by hand, hard to hide, and didn’t have great pen to work well as a fixed gun. At one point in the war, nearly half the Tank Destroyer Battalions were towed, and equipped only with the towed guns and trucks to move them. These TD battalions had little luck, and some really got clobbered in the Battle of the bulge.

Ultimately this guns use was more about taking unused guns on hand and getting a decent AT weapon out the door fast, by using them for this new purpose. They were not perfect, and as towed weapons, even really good, but on a mobile platform like the M10 or even the M6 heavy tank they did the job well enough.

3 inch M7 Gun spec sheet PDF download

The M2/M4 105mm Howitzer: Artillery in a Sherman Package

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M4A3 105 HVSS tank

The US 105mm M2/M4 howitzer was the biggest gun installed in the Sherman, the versions of the Sherman with this gun were developed to replace the M7 Priest, but never fully did so during WWII.  They were used in the same role, or in limited direct support roles. These tanks did not have a stabilized gun or wet ammo racks, but did have the large hatch hull. All 105 Sherman tanks, either M4 (105)s or M4A3 (105)s were produced exclusively by Chrysler. 105 tanks carried 66 rounds of main gun ammo, in dry ammo racks.

Sherman tanks equipped with the 105 often found themselves pooled with the others from the three companies of a battalion, with the two from the battalion HQ, so the Tank Battalion could have their own mini 105 battery on call. When working with their assigned company, they were often held in the back, and supported the gun tank platoons with indirect or direct fire. Use in direct fire support would be the rarest use for them, but it did take place.

The 17 pounder gun: 76.2mm of British High Velocity Boom Boom

The 17 pounder was developed to replace the 6 pounder, it was clear the 57mm 6 pounder wasn’t going to be able to handle tanks with thicker armor, but it stayed surprisingly relevant late into the war.  The 17 pounder started development in the final months of 1940 and was going into prototype testing in late 1941.  The first few AT guns were made by slapping the gun onto the 25 pounder carriage called the 17/25 pounder, and some were shipped to North Africa, to counter the supposed Tiger threat. The full production QF 17 pounder AT gun was available by the Italian Campaign.

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American Test Firefly with 17 pounder

The main reason the gun was a better AT gun than the US M1A1 gun was the round had a lot more propellant behind the projectile and then the Brits came up with the super velocity discarding sabot round. This new round had very good penetration, but had some serious accuracy problems.  The accuracy problems with the SVDS ammo were not fully solved until after the war.  The gun was intended for tank use, but the British Tanks meant for it had to many developmental problems, and were not going to be ready by Normandy landings, so the Sherman Firefly was born. See its own section for more info on these Shermans.

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M4A1 with 76 gun

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M4 105

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What’s left of an M4A3 75w on Iwo Jima

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M36 with M3 90

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Sources: Armored Thunderbolt by Zaloga, Sherman by Hunnicutt, Combat Lessons,  Archive Awareness,  WWII Armor, Ballistics and Gunnery by Bird and Livingston,  TM9-374 90mm Gun M3

#6 WWII Variants Other than Tanks: Things Built Using the M4 Chassis, Like the M10 and M36

WWII Variants, Other Than Tanks, Based on the Sherman: The Main being TDs like the M10 and M36

Tank Destroyers: Tank Hunters, Failed Role, Successful Killers

  They did Great things but the whole idea was bad. The TD Battalions of the US Army had very good combat records, but the whole concept was flawed. The idea of holding back battalion size units to be rushed in to fight the tanks in a major attack, just didn’t work in practice, and since the US Army was on the attack most of the time, the TD units ended up being used a lot like the separate Tank Battalions, just not as good at it.

The Vehicles themselves proved useful and often found themselves attached to Tank Divisions, and used in ways never planned for.

M10: The First M4 Based TD to See Combat.

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A late production M10 with duckbill counter weights and wading trunks engages targets in France.

M10: The First Good American TD

The M10 was a tank destroyer mounting a 3 inch anti-tank gun. It used the M4A2 chassis with the GM 6046 to power it. These tanks only had a M2 .50 caliber machine gun other than their main gun. The turret lacked power traverse. It had a five man crew and was generally liked by its crew. The American TD force was deemed a failure, but not because the men or vehicles performed badly, it was the doctrine that failed to pan out, the battalions themselves performed well overall. It was used until the end of the war, and many TD battalions preferred it over the faster M18.  The TDs lacked a co-ax machine gun, this and their open top made them more vulnerable to infantry than a tank. Even so, these units were often given tank missions. The open top did offer a big advantage in finding any enemy tanks to shoot.

One aspect of the design that shows how rushed it was, are the driver’s hatches. They were larger than the Shermans produced at the same time, but could not be opened or closed if the turret was forward. So the crew had to make a choice if the driver and co-driver were going to be able to see well, or be buttoned, before the battle or movement.  The M10 lacked a turret basket, so the driver and co-driver had an easier time getting out of the roofless turret. Like all American designs, it went through a series of upgrades through its service life. The turret was upgrade and balanced better, and the crews liked to add their own roofs.  A power turret drive was never added to the tanks in US service though.

The M10A1 version of this vehicle had a Ford GAA motor. There was no difference other than and minor improvements between an M10 and M10A1. Crews added on armored roofs to their turrets, often all hinged so they could open up to really see what was going on, in the field. It was not uncommon for TD units to be used as fixed artillery for several days.

The M10 Turret went through several changes, the first versions were badly out of balance, and they tried to solve this by mounting the grousers for the tracks on the back of the turret. This didn’t work well and wedge shaped counterweights were added. This helped, but eventually the final production M10 turrets were widened, and even bigger counterweights were added with a distinct duckbill look to them.  They came up with a full roof armor kit for the final turret, and a half cover for the early turrets that could be field retrofitted.

The M10 and M10A1 had all the gear aboard to be used at artillery. A few TD battalions spent almost as much time as artillery as they did in their TD role. This capability was used often in Italy because the 3 inch gun on the M10 didn’t tear up the vital roads as much as the larger guns did. I would be surprised to find out the M36 didn’t have the same gear. They built 4993 M10s and 1713 M10A1s. At first, only M10 TDs were authorized for service overseas, and the M10A1, even though found to be automotively superior, was to be used in stateside training only. There was some doubt about the usefulness of the motorized TD before the Normandy landings, and production of the M10 was halted as many TD units were converted back to towed gun units or disbanded.

The M10 saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Northern Europe, and various pacific Campaigns, the most notable being the retaking of the Philippines. It wasn’t really until the action started after the Allies went into Normandy that it really saw a lot of anti-armor use. In the MTO they TD units spent an awful lot of time being used as artillery units, to the point they had to learn how to swap barrels on their 3 inch guns after wearing the tubes out. The M10 in northern Europe saw lots of action, but was also being replaced by the M18 and M36. The M36 was very popular, the M18 was mixed, some units love it, some units refused to give up their trusty M10s. The M10 was not popular in the Pacific, the thinner armor, lack of hull and co-ax machine guns and open top made for a much easier target destroy for Japanese troops.

M10_Wolverine_St_Fromond_France_703_TDBn_3ADiv

An M0 Wolverine on the move in St Fromond France. The M10 is with the 703 TDB attached to the 3rd Armored Division.
M10_Wolverine_Tank_Destroyers_30th_Infantry_Division_Magdeburg_Germany_1945
A pair of M10 TDs supporting the 30th Infantry in Magdeburg Germany in 1945
M10_Wolverine_Tank_Destroyers_Head_For_Front_In_Tunisia_1943
A semi early m10 with wedge shaped counter weights on the way to the front in Tunisia, 1943
M10_Wolverine_77th_Infantry_Division_Leyte_Island_1944
An M10 or M10 A1 supporting the 77th Infantry Division on Leyte 1944
M10_Wolverine_With_Hedge_Cutter_803rd_Tank_Destroyer_Battalion_Ubach_Germany_1944

An M10 with the 803rd TDB in Ubach Germany
M10_M4_Jeep_And_2_12_Ton_Truck_76th_Infantry_Division_Speicher_1945
M10 TD moving through Speicher in 1945 supporting the 76th ID
M10_Wolverine
An early M10, maybe at the Ford plant.
M10_Wolverine_And_M4_Sherman_77th_Infantry_Division_Leyte_Island_1944
Another M10 supporting the 77th ID on Layte in 1944
M10_Wolverine_32nd_Infantry_Division_Tank_Destroyers_At_Aitape_New_Guinea_1944
M10 supporting the 32nd ID near At Aitape New Guinea
M10_Moving_Thru_Hurtgen_Forest_893rd_Tank_Destroyer_Battalion
An M10 with the 893rd TDB moving down a snow and mud covered road in the Hurtgen Forest
M10_Wolverine_Tank_Destroyer_77th_Infantry_Division_632_Bn_Ormoc_Leyte_Philippines_December_1944
Late production M10 supporting the 77th ID near Ormoc in the Philippines 1944
Destroyed_M10_Tank_Destroyer_35th_Infantry_Division_454th_Tank_Destroyer_Bn_Livarchamps_Belgium_Battle_Of_Bulge_1945
An early M10 with the 454th TDB knocked out during the fighting at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge
M10_Tank_Destroyer_And_Jeep_Enter_Fresnes_France_1944
This is an M10 entering Fresnes France in 1944, unit known.
M10_Tank_Destroyer_Moves_Into_Artena_Italy_1944
An M10 moves into Artena Italy in 1944, unit unknown.
Crew_Of_A_Us_Army_Repair_Unit_Working_On_A_Shell-Damaged_Tank_Destroyer_At_An_Ordnance_Depot_Near_Anzio_Italy_1944
This image shows a repair crew fixing an M10 damaged by artilery or mortar fire near Anzio, Italy 1944
Us_Marine_M10_Tank_Destroyer_Advance_On_Pto
A Army M10 somewhere in the PTO probably in the Philipines.
Us_Tank_Destroyer_M10_GI_With_Bazooka_Fontainebleau_France_23_August_1944
An M10 supporting US troops entering Fontainbleau France in August of 1944
M10_Tank_Destroyer_Heads_To_Battle_Lines_At_Bir_Marbott_Pass_East_Of_El_Guettar_In_Tunisia_1943.
An early M10 heading to the fighting near Bir Marbott past, east of El Guettar Tunisia, in 1943.
M10_Wolverine_Givenchy-En-Gohelle_Calais_1944
M10 in the French town of Givenchy En Gohelle near Calais France, 1944
M10_Tank_Destroyers_At_Ford_Plant_In_Detroit_1943
M10 tank destroyers rolling out of the Ford Factory in Detroit, 1943
M10_And_M4_Tanks_On_Production_Line_At_Ford_Plant_1943
M10 and M4A3 Shermans being built side by side at Fords plant in 1943
M10_Wolverine_Tank_Destroyers_On_Production_Line_At_Ford_Plant_1943
Another shot of the Ford M10 line in 1943
M5_And_M10_Wolverine_2nd_Armored_Division_In_Tesey_Sur_Vire_France_1944
An M10 supporting the 2nd Armor Division near Tesey Sur Vire France, 1944
KO_M10_Wolverine_803rd_Tank_Destroyer_Battalion_Ubach_Germany_1944
An M10 with the 803rd TDB in Ubach Germany late 44
M10_773rd_Tank_B_90th_Div_Mainz_Germany_1945
An M10 with the 773rd TD Battalion, supporting the 90th ID near Mainz Germany in 1945
30th_Infantry_Division_And_823rd_Tank_Destroyer_Battalion_M10_Germany_1945
30th ID doughs ride on 823rd TDB M10 in Germany, 1945
M10_32nd_Infantry_Division_632nd_Tank_Destroyer_Battalion_At_Aitape
This is an M10 in the Pacific, the crew is cleaning the gun, and the TD is with the 632 TDB on At Aitape
157th_Infantry_Regiment_Supported_By_M10_Tank_Destroyers_Of_A_Company_645th_Td_Bn_Under_Fire_In_Town_Of_Niederbronn_France
M10 of A Company, 645th TDB, Supporting the 157th Infantry Regiments, in the Town Of NiederbronnFrance
Camouflaged_M10_Tank_Destroyer_And_Harley_Davidson_In_Percy_France_08_1944
M10 in Percy France in 1944
M10_Wolverine_Aachen_1944
M10 in Aachen 1944
M10_Free_French_3rd_Algerian_Division_In_Omia_Italy_1944
M10 serving with the Algerian Free French 3rd Division in Omia Italy in 1944
M10_Wolverine_Tank_Destroyer_Halloville_France_November_1944
An M10 near Halloville France, November of 1944

M36: The M10 With A Much Better Gun

 

M36-GMC-Danbury.0004zx4t

 

Another tank destroyer based on the Sherman chassis, basically an M10A1 with a new turret mounting a bigger gun. These tanks mounted the 90mm M3 gun. Often this tanks turret was fitted to otherwise stock M4A3 hulls due to a shortage of M10 hulls. These TDs had full power traverse. These TDs were well liked because the M3 worked well on both armor and soft targets, since the M3 had a nice HE shell.

m76f telescope reticle m76f

M36B1

This TD suffered all the same problems dealing with infantry the M10 did, except in the M36 B1, since it was built on an M4A3 hull, it had a bow machine gun. This was as close to a factory produced 90mm Sherman during the war. It was also upgraded in a lot of units with some form of roof armor. It solved the drivers and co drivers hatch problems and always had a power turret drive though.

m36 turret dia

There was a diesel powered version based on the base M10 chassis powered by the GM 6046. There were 1413 M36s, 187 M36B1s, and 724 M36B2s.  They produced it on the M4A3 and M10 hulls because they ran out of M10A1 hulls, and no more were going to be produced. Demand for the vehicle was so great they used what they had available.  As far as I can tell they saw use only in Europe with the US Army, but the French used them in Indo-China (Vietnam).

American soldiers of Patton's Third Army standing in front of their M36 TD while rolling up a Nazi flag they have taken as a trophy after the capture of Bitberg.
American soldiers of Patton’s Third Army standing in front of their M36 TD while rolling up a Nazi flag they have taken as a trophy after the capture of Bitberg.
M36_Jackson_and_Maginot_Line_Pillbox_776th_Tank_Destroyer_Bn_Hottviller_France_1944
M36 TD with the 776th TD Battalion, near Hottviller France, next to a Maginot Line pillbox 1944
90_mm_Gun_Motor_Carriage_M36_Jackson_
Factory fresh M36B2, waiting to be issued to troops
M36_Slugger_Tank_Destroyer_Tested_at_Aberdeen_1945
M36 being tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground 1945

 

M36_Jackson_Ardennes_Offensive
M36 in action during the battle of the bulge.
M36_702_Bn_Roer_River_1944
An M36 TD with the 702nd TDB near the Roer river, in 1944. It may be being used in the indirect fire role.
Line_of_M36_Tank_Destroyers_at_Repair_Depot_in_France_1944
What looks like a line of brand new M36 TD in a Depot somewhere in France in 1944.
M36_Jackson_in_the_streets_of_Metz_November_21_1944
This M36 looks like the crew is looking for something to shoot at. The photo was taken on the streets of Metz in november of 1944
M36_35th_Infantry_Division_654th_TD_Bn_in_Oberbrauch_Germany_1945
This M36B1 just took a shot at something, note all the smoke coming from the open turret, and how the commander appears to be looking at something. The photo was taken in Oberbrauch German in 1945 and the TD is with the 654th TDB
M36_Jackson_Tank_Destroyer_1944
M36B1 outside probably the Fisher plant in 44.
M36B1_ank_destroyer_1945
An M36B1, 1945, location and unit unknown

. . .

Artillery: they have big guns, and their crews are usually deaf. (Coming soon)

 

105 Howitzer motor Carriage M7& M7B1: 4316 produced

155 Gun Motor Carriage M12: 100 produced

155 Gun Motor Carriage M40: 418 produced

8 Inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43: 48 produced

 

Sources: Sherman by Hunnicutt,  TM9-745, TM9-748, TM9-731b Yeide’s The Tank Killers, Armored Thunderbolt by Zaloga